Microsoft's Joe Belfiore said on Friday that the software giant would soon release a version of its Windows-based File Explorer file management application for Windows Phone 8.1. This may seem like a somewhat unnecessary addition to a handset, but it's the type of low-level feature that drives many tech enthusiasts to Android, so it could help better serve that audience.

Belfiore's comments about the file manager came during a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) chat on Friday. Here's an edited version of his statement:

"We are doing a File Manager for WP8.1! I know a LOT of you are looking for this (thanks for the tweets, I've read them all). In fact, I've been running a build of it on two of my phones for the last week or so and it's getting to pretty good shape. We are expecting to get it into the store HOPEFULLY by the end of May."

He even provided several screenshots of the app. I'll include the rest below, but here's a representative shot:

Coincidentally, I wrote about Windows Phone 8.1 file management yesterday as well, in Windows Phone 8.1 Tip: Master Storage. As I noted in that article, file management has gotten a lot better in this latest release, and the Storage Sense settings app the article describes does let you move data between the phone's built-in storage and microSD storage. But it's not a full file manager, and it's also a bit hard to find if you don't know what you're doing.

Since microSD is such a first-class citizen in Windows Phone 8.1, I think the addition of a file manager is a good one. I'm looking forward to seeing it. I am a bit curious they're not just adding this functionality to the OneDrive app, as they have on Windows 8.1, however.

Here are the other shots Belfiore provided: